9:44am Friday 14th February 2014
CROSS Keys head coach Greg Woods says his side need to up their game considerably if they are to topple Bedwas in the Swalec Cup tomorrow, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
His team came unstuck 22-12 to their Gwent rivals at the Bridge Field in the Principality Premiership last month in a game that was more one-sided than the scoreline suggests.
Keys have bounced back well since then with a hard-earned 15-10 triumph over fellow league contenders Llanelli at Pandy Park last Friday.
But the 2012 Swalec Cup champions have their work cut out away against Steve Law’s well-drilled side who boast a powerful set of forwards and a back division who can cause problems.
“It will be a tough game, we are under no illusions about that,” Woods said.
“They gave us a real lesson up front the last time we were there, so we need a quick turnaround.”
Played in appalling conditions, the loss at Bedwas came after an equalling disappointing 31-17 setback on their travels in the British and Irish Cup at English Championship side Moseley.
In both defeats, Keys were outmuscled and they will look to get their house in order in their bid to make the last eight for the first time since they lifted the trophy two years ago.
Woods is also looking for his troops to replicate some of the sparkling form which saw them smash league and cup double champions Pontypridd (38-17) and Cardiff (38-10), both away, before Christmas with displays that combined brute force with some exquisite champagne rugby.
“You don’t become a bad pack overnight and I’m looking for a positive reaction to deal with Bedwas’ power and we also need to play with more attacking intent like we did earlier this season,” he said.
“They really did us up front last month. There are no excuses. They did a job on us and we just couldn’t play without a platform.
“We certainly won’t be underestimating them. We bounced back well against Llanelli last week.
“We did have to dig deep for that win, although we did thoroughly deserve it in the end.”
There is mixed news for Keys with scrum-half Rhys Dyer doubtful this weekend after he sustained a dead leg in last week’s win but talented and versatile utility back Rhys Jones returns from Wales Sevens duty.
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